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Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

2nd Session, 39th Parliament,
Volume 144, Issue 73

Thursday, June 26, 2008
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker



THE SENATE

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Senate met at 4 p.m., the Speaker in the chair.

Prayers.

[Translation]

SENATORS' STATEMENTS

Question of Privilege

Notice

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 43(7), I give notice that I will raise a question of privilege.

Earlier today, pursuant to rule 43(3), I gave written notice of the question to the Clerk of the Senate in the form of the following letter:

Dear Mr. Bélisle,

Pursuant to rule 43 of the Rules of the Senate of Canada, I give notice that later today I intend to raise a question of privilege regarding the proceedings of the June 18, 2008 meeting of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.

I refer to the committee's distribution of information regarding an upcoming conference on global terrorism in English only. The chair continued the meeting despite my request for a French language copy of the information, and after considering the subject matter the committee made a decision regarding participation at the conference by its members.

I believe this represents a continual affront to the bilingual nature of the Senate and Canada by this committee.

Respectfully,

The Honourable Gerald J. Comeau

I will elaborate on this in due course.

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[English]

Gender Equality

Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, in the 88 years since being granted the right to vote, Canadian women have made great strides in their quest to achieve gender equality. However, women are still more likely to live in poverty, earn less and suffer greater domestic violence than men.

In recent years there have been further setbacks. The Conservative government has cut the Court Challenges Program and closed 12 of the 16 Status of Women regional offices. This government now prohibits women's organizations that conduct advocacy work from receiving federal funding.

A 2005 report from the Expert Panel on Accountability Mechanisms for Gender Equality made the point that while some government departments do gender-based analysis on their policies and legislation, it is not a common practice. In other words, progress in this area is spotty at best. The panel recommended that legislation be put in place to ensure that government departments be mandated to perform gender-based analysis.

For the past number of months the House of Commons Standing Committee on Status of Women has built upon the expert panel's work in its study of gender-based analysis. It has heard from bureaucrats, outside experts and women's organizations. The Feminist Alliance for International Action is an umbrella group representing 75 Canadian women's groups. FAFIA testified at the Status of Women Committee as to the need for a commissioner for gender equality.

As a result of the committee's work, Member of Parliament Maria Minna tabled two motions. The first motion was to create an independent commissioner for gender equality. The second motion was to develop legislation to give the office the power to audit, review and report on the gender implications of the work of each government department. The motions were passed by the opposition but opposed by the government members on the committee.

In addition, the Status of Women Committee concluded that federal government taxing and spending decisions often discriminate against women and unanimously — interestingly enough — recommended that the Department of Finance publish analyses on how the measures in each federal budget would affect men and women.

Generations of women have worked tirelessly for greater gender equality in Canada. While the gap is narrower, it still exists in the male-to-female ratio in the senior ranks of government and the corporate sector, in how much less women earn than men and in violence against women.

This government can take concrete steps to mitigate the gender gap and they can do it now. They should do the right thing and appoint a commissioner for gender equality and they should mandate gender-based analysis for each government department.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

[Translation]

Roadmap for Linguistic Duality

Hon. Claudette Tardif (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, the Roadmap for Linguistic Duality in Canada released last week by the government is truly the path of least resistance. Yes, some new elements have been added, such as support for francophone immigration, arts and culture programs and the university scholarships program in translation. Those are all good initiatives.

However, this roadmap seems to suggest that more money will be allocated than the Liberals spent on their action plan. That kind of superficial claim is false. The action plan proposed annual budget increases from 2003 to 2008. Analysis of the budget for the roadmap shows that it will provide more money than the 2003 Liberal budget did, but that in many areas, it is not allocating any more money than was spent for 2008, the final year of the action plan. Unfortunately, not only is this Roadmap three months late, it is very short-sighted.

Specifically, the roadmap is silent on the subject of the public service despite the fact that the Official Language Commissioner's latest report emphasized the importance of strengthening linguistic duality. What is the point of promoting official languages across Canada if no changes are required of the public service?

The budget for support for official language minority communities is remarkable only because it is so small: $22.25 million is not nearly enough to meet the needs, and communities may be unable to reach their full potential as a result.

The amount allocated to economic development also seems rather arbitrary, because at first blush it does not appear to be shared equally among the provinces.

Furthermore, the new Program to Support Linguistic Rights, which partly replaces the former Court Challenges Program, will not provide assistance for all official language grievances. Complaints related to rights under the Official Languages Act or provincial or territorial legislation are not eligible, which narrows the program's scope significantly. Moreover, the eligibility criteria for the Program to Support Linguistic Rights are rather murky. To be eligible for the program, applicants will have to show that their case is likely to lead to new developments in language law and that they have tried mediation.

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Mediation can make the judicial process even more difficult for average Canadians; it may even penalize them. Consider the Mahé case in Alberta, which never would have been won through mediation. This new criterion is more of an obstacle to promoting linguistic rights than an asset. Much remains to be done to promote linguistic duality, and I doubt that the Roadmap is sufficient to ensure the optimal development.

Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of visitors from the Edmundston region, Margaret and Gary Thorne, along with little Florence. Florence is a new resident of the Gatineau region. She will be baptized on Sunday afternoon. Before the honourable senators entered the chambre, I gave Florence an overview of her future career as the Speaker of the Senate. I wish to extend my warmest welcome to her.

[English]

Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of Chief Kim Baird of the Tsawwassen First Nation; Ms. Laura Cassidy, Councillor of the Tsawwassen First Nation; and Ms. Jody Wilson, Acting Chief Commissioner of the BC Treaty Commission. They are guests of the Honourable Senator Campbell.

On behalf of all honourable senators, I welcome you to the Senate of Canada.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Darfur

Hon. Roméo Antonius Dallaire: Honourable senators, I stand today to remind you that, as we prepare to take our leave from the Senate for the summer, we cannot forget that a genocide is still raging in Darfur. We have failed in our duty to protect our fellow human beings, while 300,000 Darfurian women, children and men have been killed and hundreds of thousands more will forever bear the marks of rape and torture.

Over 2.7 million more Darfurians now live in squalid conditions, in internally displaced persons' camps as well as refugee camps in Chad, where they are easy targets to the Sudanese army and its proxies.

Canadians should be outraged that the genocide in Darfur, now well into its sixth year, rages on unimpeded while our leaders stand by and do little to attempt to bring a conclusion to the crisis, let alone permit those people to obtain the support they need to be able to return to their homes.

The World Food Programme announced this week that millions of displaced Sudanese in Darfur will face their third month of ration cuts as violence and attacks on trucking convoys continue to disrupt the flow of food assistance to the region. Some 2.7 million people will soon face their third month at a 42 per cent ration cut at the same time as the hunger gap looms. The difficult months from now until the harvest in October will continue to take their toll on the youth, the elderly and the feeble.

I am, however, proud to see the youth of this country come together to help the people of Darfur. Student activists continue to impress me with their sustained and organized campaigns to stop genocide. It is truly heartwarming to see that they are demonstrating leadership in this nation as they look at their fellow human beings suffering in absolutely unacceptable and unprecedented destruction, poverty, hunger, disease, rape and daily attacks by militia and extremists.

[Translation]

What can Canada do? It can send aid, equipment and expertise to the United Nations and African Union mission in Darfur. This mission requires technical expertise. Our Armed Forces and police officers possess the skills that could maximize this mission's efforts.

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We have helicopter squadrons doing nothing but training, just waiting for the order to deploy. The four squadrons are ready to be deployed. One absolutely essential asset in this country is the ability to move about, with the availability of helicopters. Those helicopters cannot really be used in Afghanistan, but they would be exceptionally useful in Darfur.

Why are we not taking action? Why are we not putting a stop to the genocide in that country?


ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

National Child Benefit

2006 Progress Report Tabled

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, Progress Report: 2006 of the National Child Benefit.

State of Inuit Culture and Society for the Nunavut Settlement Area

2005-06 and 2006-07 Annual Report Tabled

Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report on the state of Inuit culture and society in Nunavut for fiscal years 2005-06 and 2006-07.

James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement
Northeastern Quebec Agreement

2003-04 and 2004-05 Annual Report Tabled

Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report on the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Northeastern Quebec Agreement for 2003-04 and 2004-05.

[English]

Study on Issues Relating to New and Evolving Policy Framework for Managing Fisheries and Oceans

Interim Report of Fisheries and Oceans Committee Tabled

Hon. Ethel Cochrane: Honourable senators, I have the honour to inform the Senate that pursuant to the order of reference adopted on November 21, 2007, and to the order adopted by the Senate on June 18, 2008, the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans tabled with the Clerk, on June 23, 2008, its fourth report, interim, entitled: The Coast Guard in Canada's Arctic: Interim Report.

On motion of Senator Cochrane, report placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.

Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement Bill

Report of Committee

Hon. Nick G. Sibbeston, Deputy Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, presented the following report:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples has the honour to present its

SEVENTH REPORT

Your committee, to which was referred Bill C-34, An Act to give effect to the Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, has, in obedience to the order of reference of Wednesday, June 18, 2008, examined the said Bill and now reports the same without amendment.

Respectfully submitted,

NICK SIBBESTON
Deputy Chair

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be read the third time?

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): With leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(b), I move that the bill be read the third time later this day.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

On motion of Senator Comeau, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for third reading later this day.

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Study on Current Social Issues of Large Cities

First Interim Report of Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee Tabled

Hon. Art Eggleton: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the seventeenth report, first interim, of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, entitled: Poverty, Housing and Homelessness: Issues and Options.

On motion of Senator Eggleton, report placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.

Food and Drugs Act

Bill to Amend—Report of Committee

Hon. Tommy Banks, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, presented the following report:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources has the honour to present its

TENTH REPORT

Your committee, to which was referred Bill S-206, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (clean drinking water), has, in obedience to the Order of Reference of Tuesday, April 3, 2008, examined the said Bill and now reports the same without amendment.

Respectfully submitted,

TOMMY BANKS
Chair

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be read the third time?

Senator Banks: With leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(b), I move that the bill be read the third time later this day.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): No, at the next sitting of the Senate.

The Hon. the Speaker: Leave is not granted.

On motion of Senator Carstairs, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for third reading at the next sitting of the Senate.

Federal Sustainable Development Bill

Report of Committee

Hon. Tommy Banks, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, presented the following report:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources has the honour to present its

ELEVENTH REPORT

Your committee, to which was referred Bill C-474, An Act to require the development and implementation of a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and the development of goals and targets with respect to sustainable development in Canada, and to make consequential amendments to another Act, has, in obedience to the order of reference of Wednesday, June 18, 2008, examined the said Bill and now reports the same without amendment.

Your committee has also made certain observations, which are appended to this report.

Respectfully submitted,

TOMMY BANKS
Chair

Observations to the Eleventh Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources (Bill C-474)

Your Committee fully supports the objectives of this bill. Indeed, this Committee has been calling for such a federal sustainable development strategy for many years.

In our Second Interim Report in the 38th Parliament, Sustainable Development: It's Time to Walk the Talk,[1] we urged the government to establish a clear federal sustainable development strategy. To date this has not been done, as has been observed recently by both by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development in his October 2007 Report of the Commissioner[2] and this Committee in our Ninth Report, Sustainable Development: A Report Card. [3]

Despite our long-standing advice, the government has yet to develop an overarching sustainable development strategy to help clarify the government's priorities and provide clear expectations of, and goals for, departmental efforts. This bill addresses these urgent concerns.

That said, we are disappointed to see serious omissions in the bill.

As originally drafted, Parliamentary committees of both Houses of Parliament were to be involved in consultations and reports contemplated in the bill. Given the significance and importance of this federal strategy, this was appropriate and would have ensured the review and commentary of both Houses of Parliament. However, this language was lost in subsequent versions of the bill. This loss weakens the bill and undermines its attempt to make environmental decision- making more transparent and accountable.

Until and unless the Constitution is amended, Parliament consists of the Crown, the Senate of Canada, and the House of Commons. No proposed legislation of this order would ever leave the Senate of Canada without provisions for the participation in the bill's various functions by the House of Commons. Regrettably that practicality, not to say courtesy, is absent in the present bill.

Due to the exigency of time, and notwithstanding this affront to Parliament, your Committee is recommending the passage of this bill unamended. However, in order to rectify the omissions we have noted, a Bill of Amendment will be introduced in the next Parliamentary session to ensure that relevant committees in both Houses of Parliament fully participate in this essential work towards creating a truly effective federal sustainable development strategy.

That bill will also include an amendment along the lines proposed by the Auditor General in her letter of 25 June 2008 addressed to the Chair, which will allow the inclusion of the Commissioner's assessment of ``the fairness of the information contained in the (Sustainable Development Office) report with respect to the progress of the federal government in implementing the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and meeting its target'' to be reported on in the Commissioner's annual report OR in a report of the Auditor General under section 7 of the Auditor General Act.

This would allow the assessment to be tabled as soon as possible after the tabling of the Sustainable Development Office's report, and will avoid a situation where a significant delay might arise between the Sustainable Development Office's tabling of its report (say in November or December of a given year) and the next tabling of the Commissioner's annual report (in November of the following year).

That amendment will be along the following lines:

(4) The Commissioner shall include, in the report referred to in subsection (2) or in the report referred to in section 7, the results of any assessment conducted under subsection (3) since the last report was laid before Parliament under subsection (5).

(Footnotes to Observations)

[1] Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, Second Interim Report: Sustainable Development: It's Time to Walk the Talk, June, 2005, / 38/1/parlbus/commbus/senate/com-e/enrg-e/rep-e/ repintjun05-e.htm

[2] Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 2007 October Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, http:// www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/ aud_parl_cesd_2007_e_26831.html

[3] Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, Ninth Report: Sustainable Development: A Report Card, June, 2008, /39/2/parlbus/commbus/senate/ com-e/enrg-e/rep-e/rep09jun08-e.htm

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be read the third time?

Senator Banks: With leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(b), I move that the bill be read the third time later this day.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

On motion of Senator Banks, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for third reading later this day.

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Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

Bill to Amend—Report of Committee

Hon. Tommy Banks, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, presented the following report:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources has the honour to present its

TWELFTH REPORT

Your committee, to which was referred Bill C-33, An Act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, has, in obedience to the order of reference of Thursday, June 12, 2008, examined the said Bill and now reports the same without amendment.

Your committee has also made certain observations, which are appended to this report.

Respectfully submitted,

TOMMY BANKS
Chair

Observations to the Twelfth Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources (Bill C-33)

Your Committee has the following observations.

That the Government of Canada should exercise due diligence and perform a cost-benefit analysis before proposing any regulations arising from this bill to ensure that:

(a) Canada's tax dollars are being prudently used to produce a significant result in reducing greenhouse gases emissions;

(b) The industry is able to process and mix the fuel as required by law;

(c) Canadian producers, the farmers, can meet the demand and farmers' income is improved;

(d) Human health will not be compromised in any way by this bill; and

(e) Any new information that is available prior to regulations being proposed is taken into consideration before such regulations are promulgated.

Your Committee also notes its intention to examine, at its first opportunity, the development of the regulatory process and the proposed regulations; and will on an ongoing basis, examine the efficacy derived from the application of those regulations.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be read the third time?

Senator Banks: With leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(b), I move that the bill be read the third time later this day.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

On motion of Senator Banks, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for third reading later this day.

Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Bill

First Reading

Hon. Elaine McCoy presented Bill S-243, An Act respecting the office of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development.

Bill read first time.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be read the second time?

On motion of Senator McCoy, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for second reading two days hence.

Inter-Parliamentary Union

Meeting of Steering Committee of Twelve Plus Group, September 7, 2007—Report Tabled

Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian parliamentary delegation to the meeting of the steering committee of the Twelve Plus Group, held in London, United Kingdom on September 7, 2007.

Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly and Related Meetings, April 29-May 4, 2007—Report Tabled

Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union to the one hundred sixteenth IPU assembly and related meetings, held in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, from April 29 to May 4, 2007.

Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association

Ordinary Session of Pan African Parliament and Fact-finding Mission, May 5-9, 2008—Report Tabled

Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian parliamentary delegation to the ninth ordinary session of the Pan African Parliament and the fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe held in Midrand, South Africa and Harare, Zimbabwe, from May 5 to 9, 2008.


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[Translation]

QUESTION PERIOD

Delayed Answers to Oral Questions

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I have the honour of presenting nine answers to oral questions raised by Senator Hervieux-Payette on February 27, 2008, concerning heritage—funding for Montreal festivals and funding for arts and culture in Budget 2008; by Senator Ringuette on March 13, 2008, concerning the environment, recycling automobiles; by Senator Hervieux- Payette on April 1, 2008, regarding the CRTC and the proposal to authorize the transmission of United States television channels in Canada; by Senator Mahovlich on April 2, 2008, concerning the Portrait Gallery of Canada; by Senator Rompkey on April 2, 2008, concerning heritage—funding for the four hundredth anniversary celebrations of Cupids; by Senator Milne on April 29, 2008, concerning Human Resources and Social Development—the Enabling Accessibility Fund; by Senator Milne on May 7, 2008, concerning funding for programs for offenders; by Senator Dyck on May 8, 2008, concerning programs for Aboriginal offenders; and by Senator Cowan on May 15, 2008, concerning infrastructure and communities, the Building Canada Fund and framework agreements.

Heritage

Funding for Montreal Festivals—Budget 2008—Funding for Arts and Culture

(Response to questions raised by Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette on February 27, 2008)

Announced funding for major festivals

The Arts Presentation Canada program was created in 2001 to support arts festivals and other arts presenters.

The Arts Presentation Canada program's current authority will expire after 2009-2010. The program will seek renewal of its authority starting in 2010-2011.

Funding support awarded under Arts Presentation Canada is assessed based on publicly known criteria which reflect program's objective.

Applications are compared with other applications from the same region and prioritized in relation to the funds available.

Principal cultural investments announced by the government over the last several months

$30 million per year for festivals

In Budget 2007, the Government of Canada announced $30 million in new funding per year to support local arts and heritage festivals and events.

  • $18 million has been allocated on an ongoing basis for the new Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program.
     
  • Additional resources of $7.4 million per year have been provided on an ongoing basis to the Arts Presentation Canada program.
     
  • The remaining $4.6 million in funding will be available for infrastructure costs related to community anniversaries that commemorate and celebrate the anniversary (100th or more, in multiples of 25 years) of a locally significant historical event or person.
     
  • The infusion of $7.4 million into the Arts Presentation Canada program has enabled the Department to more appropriately recognize the substantial community engagement efforts of a few exceptionally large festivals, while ensuring that an appropriate amount of funds remains available to meet the needs of the great many smaller festivals within the program.

Enhanced funding for the Canada Council for the Arts

In Budget 2006, the Government announced additional funding of $50 million over two years for the Canada Council for the Arts — $20 million in 2006-2007 and $30 million in 2007-2008. This $30 million is now an ongoing commitment to the Council. The Council has used the new funding to strengthen the most successful Canadian arts organizations, offer greater assistance to artists in all disciplines, and increase support for activities that give Canadians greater access to the arts (such as presentation and touring). Taking this increase into account, the Government of Canada will now provide yearly funding of $181 million to the Canada Council for the Arts — a twenty percent increase over the last two years.

Elimination of Capital Gains Tax on Donations

Also in Budget 2006, our Government announced the elimination of capital gains tax on donations of publicly listed securities to charities. This fundamental change in federal tax law, expanded in Budgets 2007 and 2008, will provide further incentive for communities to support the arts and culture in Canada.

Actions to Support the Promotion of Culture Abroad—Implications for the Department of Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage continues to play an active role in promoting Canadian culture on the international stage.

To do this, the Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH), and its portfolio invest over $33 million per year in this area through programs administered by the Department, the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada, National Film Board of Canada, Association for the Export of Canadian Books and Factor/MusicAction (Annex 1).

A number of these programs and organizations are actively promoting Canadian culture internationally. For instance:

In its recently published Action Plan 2008-11, the Canada Council for the Arts undertook to increase its budget for international dissemination by $1,404,000 and build partnerships outside Canada to increase international opportunities for Canadian artists and arts organizations.

The PCH Trade Routes Program has an annual budget of $9 million and aims to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) working in areas involving the arts and culture so that they may be ready to export and benefit fully from the opportunities presented by world markets.

The PCH International Strategic Framework, developed in 2006 to improve the consistency, synergy and outcome of the Department's international activities, ensures cooperation between all federal partners.

Canadian Heritage recognizes that the contribution of international markets to the vitality and sustainable development of Canadian cultural and arts communities is important.

The Department of Canadian Heritage and its portfolio agencies and partners, such as the Canada Council for the Arts, the Association for the Export of Canadian Books, and Telefilm Canada all work to promote Canadian artists and cultural industries abroad.

Funding for the Concours musical international de Montréal

There are no programs within the Department of Canadian Heritage that offer support for artistic competitions. The organization has been informed of this fact and has had the opportunity to discuss this situation with Departmental representatives on numerous occasions.

While Canadian Heritage does not support their competition, Canadian Heritage has supported several other aspects of the work of Jeunesses musicales of Canada Foundation.

  • $1 million in 1999 for the restoration of the Maison des Jeunesses musicales of Canada;
     
  • $250,000 in 1999 as well for the World Congress of the International Federation of Jeunesses musicales;
     
  • The arts presentation activities of Jeunesses musicales of Canada are supported by the Department under the Arts Presentation Canada program ($30,000 per year).

The federal government also contributes to the activities of Jeunesses musicales of Canada most notably through various grants awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts.

(For text of Appendix I, see Appendix, p. 1694.)

The Environment

Recycling Automobiles

(Response to question raised by Hon. Pierrette Ringuette on March 13, 2008)

Our government is serious about cleaning up the air we breathe and improving the health of Canadians. That is why on June 4th we launched a national voluntary program to get Canadian's smog-causing, gas guzzlers off the road. The Government is providing $92 million over 5 years to implement the program, which will be delivered by the Clean Air Foundation — a national not-for-profit organization that runs the award-winning Car Heaven program.

Starting in January 2009, Canadians will be able to trade in their older used cars for rewards like bus-passes, car sharing programs, bicycles, $300 cash or a rebate on the purchase of a new car to thank them for taking action and doing the right thing for our environment.

Our government is looking forward to launching our national program in the new year, but we also want to start encouraging Canadians to make environmentally friendly choices now.

That's why, for the remainder of this year, we are increasing funding for existing federal-provincial car scrappage organizations so they can offer expanded rewards that will be part of the national program as soon as possible.

This will encourage Canadians to take action now by rewarding them with incentives for retiring their old vehicles that will be part of the national program. These local scrappage programs will have an opportunity to become part of the Clean Air Foundation's network for the delivery of the new national program in 2009.

As part of the Government's commitment to high environmental standards, the program will also include a National Car Recycling Code of Practice. This tough code, currently being developed with the Automotive Recyclers of Canada will raise the standard of environmental care for vehicle recycling and apply to all participating recyclers.

This investment, combined with our regulatory framework to cut air pollution from industry by up to 50 per cent, is what Canadians want and what we are delivering.

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Proposal to Authorize Transmission of United States Television Channels

(Response to question raised by Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette on April 1, 2008)

The proposal the Honourable Senator refers to is one of a number that the CRTC is testing, with stakeholders and the public, to modernize and lighten its regulatory approach.

The CRTC was established by Parliament in 1968 and is an independent public authority. It is responsible for regulating and supervising the Canadian broadcasting system, including the authority to make and amend regulations. The Government does not and did not direct the CRTC in this process.

The Government followed closely the public hearing, held April 8, 2008, during which Canadians had the opportunity to make their views known on broadcasting issues, including access to foreign specialty channels.

The Government expects the CRTC to continue to act in a manner that ensures the creation and presentation of Canadian programming — the foundation of a strong broadcasting system and a strong production sector.

Public Works and Government Services

Removal of Posters from Former Proposed Location of Portrait Gallery

(Response to question raised by Hon. Francis William Mahovlich on April 2, 2008)

The government has invited proposals for a physical location to house the Portrait Gallery in one of nine Canadian cities, including the nation's capital. Due to the fact that a number of requests for information were received from prospective developers as well as requests for a further extension, the Government extended the deadline for the submission of proposals from April 16 to May 16, 2008. A committee of experts and government officials will evaluate all compliant bids. The anticipated date for contract award is October 2008.

Heritage

Newfoundland and Labrador—Four Hundredth Anniversary Celebrations of Cupids—Request for Funding

(Response to question raised by Hon. Bill Rompkey on April 2, 2008)

The request for funding from Cupids 400 Inc. to support the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the founding of the first English settlement in Cupids (Newfoundland and Labrador) is still under review.

Officials in the Department of Canadian Heritage at both headquarters and the regional office of Newfoundland and Labrador have been working in close collaboration with representatives from Cupids 400 Inc.

Human Resources and Social Development

Enabling Accessibility Fund

(Response to question raised by Hon. Lorna Milne on April 29, 2008)

Budget 2007 announced the Government's intention of creating an Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) with $45M over three years to contribute to the cost of improving physical accessibility for persons with disabilities.

This fund will contribute to the capital costs of construction and renovations related to physical accessibility for people with disabilities. Eligible projects include the construction of participatory abilities centres that offer programs to individuals of varying physical abilities and smaller projects such as adding an access ramp to an existing building. Approved projects will have strong ties to, and support from, the communities they serve and will be able to demonstrate improvements in accessibility.

The Call for Proposals, which is a fair and transparent process, was open from April 1 through April 30, 2008.

Mailed applications postmarked by April 30, 2008 were considered. The positive response to this Call for Proposals resulted in the receipt of 812 submissions. Of these proposals, 89 were for Major Projects and 723 were Small Projects.

Another call for proposals will be launched in the fall of 2008, which will enable interested applicants and the groups that were not ready to apply earlier, to prepare for this second call.

Correctional Services

Programs for Offenders—Funding

(Response to question raised by Hon. Lorna Milne on May 7, 2008)

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) allotted approximately $37 million in 2006-2007 to core programming for offenders. Correctional programs, as part of the overall Correctional Strategy, are interventions, provided to men and women offenders in the institutions and in the community that specifically address the multiple factors that contribute directly to criminal behaviour. The $37 million includes all costs associated with program delivery (including direct program delivery officers on the ground), as well as quality assurance and training expenditures which are integral components of the program process.

In Budget 2008, the Government announced its intent to fundamentally transform the federal corrections system with the objectives of:

.increasing offender responsibility and accountability;

.eliminating drugs from prisons;

.providing more employment and employability skills for offenders; and

.modernizing physical infrastructure.

This transformation process will begin by reinforcing safety and security in federal correctional institutions through the detection and elimination of drugs and the implementation of strategies to address gang problems in the facilities. Budget 2008 commits $122 million over two years (with $12 million provided in 2008-2009 and $110 million in 2009-2010) to initiate the process of fundamental reform.

CSC is increasing its funding of programs that promote the safe reintegration of offenders following release. For example, in fiscal year 2005-2006, CSC spent $153.9 million for offenders after they were released from incarceration. In 2006-2007 the expenditures increased to $159.2 million while in 2007-2008 CSC spent approximately $173.8 million for offenders supervised in the community.

It should be noted that these costs only include the direct costs of the programs. The numbers quoted include operating expenditures (salaries, contracts, supplies, goods and services) but exclude capital costs such as construction, fleet and equipment over $10,000 and Employee benefit plan expenditures.

Over the course of the last three years, CSC's operating expenditures, which include costs for the care and custody, rehabilitation and case management of incarcerated offenders, and those in the community, were as follows:

.2005-2006 $1,370 million

.2006-2007 $1,562.7 million representing a 14.1% increase from 2005-2006

.2007-2008 $1,646 million representing a 5.7% increase from 2006-2007

(Response to question raised by Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck on May 8, 2008)

Budget 2007 announced additional funding for the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) that was directed to ``Rehabilitation and education and preparing incarcerated individuals for their return to society.'' Please note that Budget 2007 funding was for a two-year period; Budget 2008 has since announced the ongoing funding for these initiatives:

$500K for Programs for Life Sentences

$400K for Aboriginal Community Development Officers

$500K for Learning Disabilities (Programs)

$500K for Ethnocultural Programs

$500K for Literacy and Essential Skills (Programs)

$1,600K for Enhanced Community Residential Facility Capacity

The base budget directed towards offender education (literacy programming) in 2008-09 is $20.3M which includes the increase of $0.5M announced in Federal Budget 2007. Base budget for Offender Employment and Employability (employment training) for 2008-09 is $48.2M.

Literacy programming and employment skills are targeted for all offenders therefore we cannot provide specific details on funding awarded specifically for Aboriginal offenders.

Aboriginal correctional programs have been developed exclusively by and for Aboriginal people. There are also numerous spiritual, personal development and social programs that are available to Aboriginal offenders. Examples of these programs and activities are described below. However, it should be noted that Aboriginal offenders are active participants in all correctional programs. Race, religion, and ethnic origin are not exclusion criteria for any of CSC's correctional programs.

The Spirit of a Warrior Program explicitly targets violent behaviour. The program is divided into four sections: introduction; childhood; adolescence; and adulthood/ alternatives to violence. The program consists of an in- depth intervention that is intended to reduce the risk to re- offend with violence, reduce risk to relapse, improve family relations, and improve ability to communicate with others, improve coping skills, and adapt Aboriginal culture and spirituality into all aspects of behaviour and everyday life. It is expected what with a more informed base of traditions, Aboriginal women will be better able to manage their life.

In Search of Your Warrior Program (ISOYW) targets Aboriginal male offenders who have a history of violent offending and are considered high risk to reoffend violently, as well as Aboriginal male offenders who are actively following native spirituality.

Tupiq Program for Inuit Offenders is a program for male Inuit offenders, Inuit offenders that have past records of sexual offences, and Inuit offenders who have past records of family violence.

The Aboriginal Offender Substance Abuse Program (AOSAP) is a high intensity program for Aboriginal offenders and is designed to reduce risk for relapse to substance abuse and recidivism. The AOSAP is a national Aboriginal correctional program which replaces all unaccredited Aboriginal Substance Abuse Programs. Three branches of the Correctional Service of Canada area supporting this initiative (Addictions Research Center, Reintegration Programs, and Aboriginal Initiatives) with the Addictions Research Centre assuming the lead in program development and research. Five sites across Canada, one in each of our regions (Pacific, Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic), participated in the demonstration phase of the project, which began in November 2004, and includes a research component. The program is presently being nationally implemented.

The High Intensity Aboriginal Family Violence Program (HIAFVP) is an Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Program for Aboriginal offenders, which provides intervention to male Aboriginal federal offenders who are assessed as high risk to be violent in their intimate relationships. The HIAFVP is a culturally appropriate alternative to the High Intensity Family Violence Program.* The program represents an integration of traditional Aboriginal healing approaches with Principles of Effective Corrections. Aboriginal cultural teaching and spirituality are integral to program design. The HIAFVP replaces all unaccredited Aboriginal Family Violence Programs. The program was originally developed in November 2003 and was implemented in Demonstration Mode at a number of pilot sites. The program was subsequently revised in September 2004 and January 2008.

*The High Intensity Family Violence Program is designed for federally-sentenced male offenders who have demonstrated a pattern of violence against intimate female partners. The offender must have committed at least two confirmed acts of family violence against one or more intimate partners and must be assessed as high risk on the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA).

The Inuit Community Maintenance Program (ICMP) addresses the maintenance needs of Inuit offenders with sexual offending and spousal violence profiles. The program is holistic and addresses a number of skills directly connected to the offending patterns of the majority of Inuit federal offenders. The program provides support in the development and maintenance of individual Self Management Plans and responds to the immediate risk issues, concerns and challenges facing participants on a daily basis. The program is made flexible to the needs of the participants and clinical supervision can be added if required.

The Aboriginal Women's Maintenance Program provides women who have completed the Spirit of a Warrior Program an opportunity to maintain the skills, knowledge and cultural/spiritual connection created in the program. There will be participants in the program who have not taken the Spirit of a Warrior Program, however, this should not significantly inhibit their ability to understand and benefit from the Aboriginal Women's Maintenance Program curriculum. The overall goal of the Aboriginal Women's Maintenance Program is to assist participants to prepare for, build, and enhance their ability to live a balanced and violence/crime-free life outside of correctional facilities, thereby reducing the possibility of recidivism of participants. The program objectives are to engage participants in a safe and supportive environment; generate understanding of past incidence and present behaviour; assist participants to maintain and implement a Healing Plan; assist participants to access required community resources; and assist participants to reintegrate and remain in the community.

The Circles of Change Program (for women) is a unique moderate intensity gender specific program that addresses the criminogenic needs of Aboriginal women offenders. The Circles of Change Program entails three rehabilitative strategies: relational, cognitive-behavioural, and solution- focused. All three strategies have been recognized as being relevant to address the needs of women offenders. Some of the program objectives are to provide information about Canadian Aboriginal history as it relates to family and relationships; to understand communication styles and self- care issues; to understand the woman's role in her family of origin; to identify healthy and unhealthy relationships and explore how these impact on the woman; to understand and recognize social injustices and their impact on values and behaviour; to develop a relapse prevention plan; to use Aboriginal teachings and the Medicine Wheel concepts to support the program material in a culturally sensitive manner.

The Aboriginal Corrections Continuum of Care Model (referred to as Continuum), introduced in 2003, was developed in consultation with Aboriginal stakeholders working with CSC to develop new approaches to addressing Aboriginal offender needs. Aboriginal community research indicated that the major factors contributing to Aboriginal offenders' success upon release were their participation in spiritual and cultural activities, as well as programs (preferably delivered by Aboriginal people) and the support they received from family and community. The implementation of the continuum of care; connecting Aboriginal offenders to their culture, families and communities, is done through the following:

.Elders

First Nations, Métis and Inuit Elders contribute throughout the sentence to meeting the cultural and spiritual needs of diverse Aboriginal offenders. They provide guidance and leadership in correctional planning/intervention for those who wish to follow a traditional healing path.

.Aboriginal Liaison Officers (ALO)

Ensure the unique histories and needs of individual Aboriginal offenders in institutions and of their communities are understood and met. Provide liaison between offenders and non-Aboriginal staff to ensure spiritual and cultural needs are addressed.

.Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers (ACPO)

Deliver culturally-appropriate programs within institutions to address behaviours that place Aboriginal offenders at risk to re-offend.

.Pathways

Pathways Healing Units provide a traditional environment within CSC institutions for Aboriginal offenders dedicated to following a traditional healing path.

.Healing Lodges (minimum security)

CSC or Aboriginal community facilities that offer culturally appropriate services and programs in an environment that incorporates Aboriginal peoples' values, traditions and beliefs.

.Aboriginal Community Development Officers (ACDO)

Work with Aboriginal offenders who have expressed an interest in returning to their communities. Under Section 34 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), ACDOs work with these communities to develop a plan for reintegration of the offender. These release plans are submitted to the National Parole Board for consideration in making a decision about granting a conditional release.

.Aboriginal Community Liaison Offers (ACLO)

Support Aboriginal offender reintegration in urban communities.

Infrastructure and Communities

Building Canada Fund—Approval of Disbursement for Specific Projects

(Response to question raised by Hon. James S. Cowan on May 15, 2008)

The signing of a Framework Agreement between Canada and each province and territory represents an important first step towards flowing funds under the $33-billion Building Canada plan. The Framework Agreements provide a comprehensive and flexible approach to coordinating the implementation of Building Canada in each jurisdiction and will promote accountability by providing Canadians with regular public reporting on the implementation and outcomes of the Building Canada plan. The Framework Agreements also provide for formal collaborative relationships with each province and territory in manner that is respectful of jurisdictions and supportive of open federalism.

Negotiations of the infrastructure Framework Agreements are proceeding well and as of May 21, 2008, agreements have been signed with nine jurisdictions: British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Saskatchewan, and Prince Edward Island. Negotiations with the other jurisdictions are continuing and it is expected that further official announcements will occur over the coming weeks.

Once Framework Agreements are signed the Government of Canada then enters into the necessary funding agreements with each jurisdiction. This entails signing a program agreement for the $2.275 billion Provincial/Territorial Base Fund as well as an agreement to extend the Gas Tax Fund until 2013-2014. With respect to the $8.8 billion Building Canada Fund, it is comprised of two components: a Major Infrastructure Component and a Communities Component. For the major projects the Government of Canada will be entering into contribution agreements on a project by project basis. With respect to the Communities Component the Government of Canada will be signing agreements with each jurisdiction, with the exception of the three territories as their funding under this program is being administered under the Provincial/Territorial Base Fund.

To date, where the Government of Canada has signed a Framework Agreement, the negotiations are well underway to conclude Communities Component Agreements. In fact, agreements have been signed with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Contribution agreements have been completed and awaiting formal signature by the Provinces of British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador. A call for proposals has been launched in Nova Scotia and closed January 30, 2008. Given that this program is the successor to the Municipal-Rural Infrastructure Fund, all intakes of that program must be completed before the Communities Component call is issued.

The Communities Component will be governed by an Oversight Committee comprised both by federal and provincial senior officials. To support the operation of the Communities Component and Oversight Committees, each jurisdiction will have a federal-provincial Joint Secretariat staffed by Federal Delivery Partner and provincial officials.

All project applications under the Communities Component will be subject to a competitive, application- based process. This is administered by the Joint Secretariat for the respective provincial municipal association (for those provinces that have municipal associations), and may also be established as part of the application review process. The provinces determine the degree of active participation by the municipalities in the roll out of the community component.

Joint Secretariats will provide the first level of due diligence, including engineering, environmental, and legal review of the applications, and prepare briefing material for the Oversight Committees. The Oversight Committees will then review and rank the application against the mandatory and additional leveraging criteria established in the Policy Leveraging Framework. Finally, the Oversight Committee will present the recommended list of projects to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities or the Federal Delivery Partner Minister for consideration, in accordance with the delegations of authority, money will flow at that time.

While these negotiations continue, federal funding for infrastructure continues to flow. Last year the Government provided close to $2 billion in funding for the construction of key infrastructure priorities under existing programs, of which almost $800 million was transferred to municipalities under the GasTax Fund.

The Gas Tax Fund will provide $1 billion this year and it will reach an annual rate of $2 billion next year. As announced in Budget 2008, the Government has committed to extend this measure permanently at $2-billion-per-year. A permanent Gas Tax Fund will allow municipalities to better plan and finance their long-term infrastructure needs.

Answers to Order Paper Questions Tabled

Agriculture Canada—Potato Virus in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government) tabled the answer to Question No. 34 on the Order Paper—by Senator Ringuette.

The Environment—Climate Change

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government) tabled the answer to Question No. 19 on the Order Paper—by Senator Downe.

Health—Rural Health Strategy

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government) tabled the answer to Question No. 12 on the Order Paper—by Senator Callbeck.

Human Resources and Social Development—Guaranteed Income Supplement

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government) tabled the answer to Question No. 32 on the Order Paper—by Senator Downe.

National Defence—CFB Gagetown—Agent Orange

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government) tabled the answer to Question No. 28 on the Order Paper—by Senator Downe.


ORDERS OF THE DAY

Business of the Senate

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 27(1), I wish to inform the Senate that when we proceed to Government Business, the Senate will address the items beginning with third reading of Bill C-33, third reading of Bill C-34, and, with leave of the Senate, third reading of Bill C-474, followed by the other items in the order in which they stand on the Order Paper and Notice Paper.

[English]

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

Bill to Amend—Third Reading

Hon. Tommy Banks moved third reading of Bill C-33, An Act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

He said: Honourable senators, I thank the members of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources for working so hard over the past few days to examine the bill. I thank all honourable senators for coming back today to receive this report.

Bill C-33 has the effect of authorizing the government to make regulations in respect of biofuels. It is as simple as that. We heard testimony from a large number of compelling witnesses, both those in favour of the bill and those not in favour of the bill. Their arguments were persuasive in one way or another, and the committee had some difficulty. It did not arrive at a unanimous conclusion on the bill.

I commend senators' particular attention to the important observations attached to the bill. The most important is the last one that speaks to the committee's intention to examine, at the first opportunity, the development of the regulatory process, the regulations and, on an ongoing basis, the efficacy derived from the application of the regulations that will be promulgated under this legislation. That intention is significantly important so we can follow both the testimony of the witnesses in favour of this bill that said it was urgently necessary, and those who argued strongly that the bill be delayed for further study.

It is the view of the committee that this approach is the most practical way to deal with the bill. I, therefore, recommend that honourable senators, bearing in mind the observations attached to the report, vote today in favour of this bill.

Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, I thank and congratulate the government on this bill, the Chair of the Energy Committee, who led us tirelessly, and the deputy chair, who worked hard along with him.

There was strong debate on both sides, which represents the classic model of trying to get something done on climate change, specifically, and on the environment, more generally. No matter how strong a proposal might be, as Senator McCoy said so well, there are always potholes. Somehow, we must go around those potholes to do something.

In this case, a grave concern was expressed that food for fuel raises a greater burden of hunger across the world. My feeling is that there is positive benefit, that biofuels are not pushing up the price of food and that great progress is being made to second- generation biofuel feedstocks that will not encounter that problem.

Honourable senators, I encourage the government to push as hard as it can for that next phase of development so that this bill will be not only a successful agricultural initiative for Canadian farmers but also a positive environmental initiative, making it a win-win bill.

Hon. Bert Brown: Honourable senators, I am pleased to rise today to address the renewable fuels bill and its proposed amendments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, CEPA.

The health and well-being of Canadians depend on the quality of our environment and our economy. That is why the Government of Canada is taking steps toward smarter, greener energy.

Rather than sit on the sidelines and talk a good game about climate change, the Government of Canada is delivering real action for our environment through a balanced and focused plan that includes biofuels.

In December 2006, this government first announced its intention to regulate 5 per cent renewable content in gasoline by 2010, and 2 per cent renewable content in diesel and heating oil by 2012, conditional upon successful demonstration of its use under a range of Canadian conditions. Those targets will contribute to making a huge difference for our environment, equivalent to taking one million cars off the road.

Production capacity in Canada is nearly one billion litres per year, and Canadian biofuel producers are making progress on meeting the 2010 content goal. Every action we take brings us one step closer to a healthy future for our environment. That brings me to this bill and the proposed amendments to CEPA.

As honourable senators might know, CEPA currently provides authority for the regulation of sellers, producers and importers of fuel. These proposed amendments will provide the additional authorities needed to make efficient national regulations requiring renewable content in Canadian fuel, including the authority to regulate at point of fuel blending; to track exports; and to exempt small volume producers and importers.

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Honourable senators, 2010 is fast approaching, and there is much uncertainty in the market. Bill C-33 needs to pass before this summer. If the bill does not pass into law, projects that are going ahead will have an extremely difficult time finding investment to continue financing them. This difficulty will weaken, if not kill, most of these projects.

This industry is only starting. All the great projects coming online now, or already producing, will be negatively affected also. All the exciting potential next-generation projects with new Canadian technologies and companies will be dead before they even start to walk.

Without the new law, two government programs will be affected disastrously, as uptake in the government programs will no longer exist with no more outside investment and financing allowed: the $200-million ecoAgriculture Biofuels Capital Initiative — ecoABC — program, helping farmer and rural community investment; and the $500-million Sustainable Development Technology Canada NextGen Biofuels Fund, commercializing next-generation biofuels from agriculture and forestry residues.

Let me highlight a number of projects that industry has told us will be affected adversely by any delay. Individual projects that are well under way that will be hurt or killed include a next- generation project using municipal landfill waste and agricultural residues in Quebec, $100 million; a similar but larger one in Western Canada, $150 million; an expansion of an existing facility in southwestern Ontario, $200 million; three new projects being developed in Ontario, all with significant farmer involvement, $400 million; a significant biodiesel project on the Prairies, $100 million; a major biodiesel project in Quebec, $50 million; the world's first commercial cellulose ethanol plant on the Prairies using agricultural residues, $300 million; a cellulose ethanol project in B.C. using pine beetle wood and forestry waste, $100 million; a large farmer-owned ethanol project in Saskatchewan, $100 million; and a major ethanol project in the Maritimes, $100 million.

The total investment for individual projects is $1.5 billion, plus the three government programs, totalling about $2.2 billion. And who can put a price tag on the environmental benefits of biofuels?

This government bases its investments and actions on a solid foundation of facts. Numerous studies, including research conducted by the Government of Canada, show that the production and use of renewable fuels result in lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels.

``Pure'' ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent over its entire life cycle, compared to gasoline. Biodiesel promises 60 per cent to 80 per cent reductions in greenhouse gases, while cellulosic ethanol and other next-generation renewable fuels promise reductions of up to 90 per cent or more.

We have heard some criticism that increased demand for grains as a result of biofuels production is causing food prices to rise, putting greater demand on land use and creating economic hardship for our livestock producers.

The recent rise in the price of grains and oilseeds is a result of many factors: increased demand from emerging economies due to shifting food consumption patterns; decreased grain production in countries such as Australia; rising oil prices and transportation costs; and an increased production of biofuels around the world.

However, when it comes to biofuels development, the facts are clear. Domestically, Canadian farmers already grow more than enough grains and oilseeds to meet our needs for livestock feed and biofuels. In fact, increased ethanol production translates into more distiller's grains, a source of livestock feed. Current estimates show that only 5 per cent of land and crops in Canada will be used to grow biofuels crops.

This government understands that biofuel technologies are evolving every day. That is why the government is investing $500 million in new technologies that will take non-food products such as wheat straw and woodchips and turn them into valuable commodities to create cleaner-burning, renewable fuels.

This government also recently announced the full removal of kernel visual distinguishability, KVD, as a registration criterion for new wheat varieties in Western Canada. Moving beyond KVD will allow Canadian farmers to harness the potential of new higher-yielding varieties of wheat tailored to biofuel production.

Biofuels comprise only one part of a much wider suite of policies on climate change and are one part of a strategy to ensure that agriculture continues to be profitable for producers and that diversification and value-added agriculture products continue to develop. Biofuels will provide increasingly a cleaner-burning, renewable energy source for all Canadians.

The Hon. the Speaker: Are honourable senators ready for the question?

Hon. Roméo Antonius Dallaire: Is the debate over?

The Hon. the Speaker: No, we are on debate. Further debate?

Senator Dallaire: Will the honourable senator accept a question?

Senator Brown: Yes.

Senator Dallaire: I acknowledge the information the honourable senator has provided in his statement, citing the enormous benefits to Canadian farmers, to us and to our dependency on the fuels, and that we might use up to 5 per cent of the production of food in moving to biofuels.

There has been argument about the reasons why food prices have increased and that increasing prices are not directly related to the fact that we are moving to biofuels. However, a massive amount of humanity is still starving. I bring honourable senators back to the arguments I presented earlier with regard to Darfur.

Are biofuels really the way to go? Is it better to alleviate our energy needs and our impact on the environment, not by reducing our consumption but by replacing energy sources with something that can be used ultimately to feed human beings? Is it ethical, for a country that has such opulence, to take a decision of that nature?

Senator Brown: I believe we accomplish a couple of things with this bill. First, we allow farmers to remain competitive in the marketplace and to produce food for export around the world. The 5 per cent is about 5 per cent of Canadian land. As we move into second-generation technology other biofuel feedstocks will be available, such as switchgrass and others, which are not related in any way to any food.

Many feedstocks are considered food products, but when they are frozen, like canola is in the early part of the year, they are no longer useful for production of any food for human consumption; but, they can be used for making biodiesel. Also, other varieties of corn fodder are now being used to produce cellulosic ethanol.

I think the future for biofuels is good, and I do not think the harm to food is great. I think it will produce a lot of financially healthy farmers and that we will continue to produce food for export around the world.

Senator Dallaire: I do not negate the benefits to us. I am looking at those who have nothing. I am looking at the humanitarian aid that is going into Darfur, having seen it physically. I have seen humanitarian aid going into other areas of conflict, and I have seen the big Canadian flag or American flag on those bags. What is inside is not wheat to make bread. What is inside is cow corn, stuff that we do not eat. It is cow corn.

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It is fine to keep the systems going; however, are we not limiting our ability to sustain or increase the support to those who are in need of international aid by moving towards the biofuels? Are we not improving or significantly changing our surpluses used for humanitarian aid by giving wheat instead of cow corn?

Senator Brown: I do not believe we are. I firmly believe that the problem of people in the world who are short of food has been with us for generations. It takes a very strong effort and commitment by people like the international banking firms and the whole of humanity to ensure that food is delivered and that farmers are paid for the cost of production plus a reasonable profit.

Hon. Joseph A. Day: Will the honourable senator take another question?

Senator Brown: I will.

Senator Day: Senator, I have now had an opportunity to review the attached observations to this particular report. Although not a great deal has been said about the observations, they are commendable. Sometimes the observations are the observations of only the majority on the committee, and other times they are generally accepted, and not on division, by the committee.

In this instance, with respect to Bill C-33 and the attached committee observations, can the honourable senator let me know under which category they fit?

Senator Brown: At the end, we ended up with a unanimous vote.

Hon. Elaine McCoy: I have a very brief comment on this bill. I would not want the impression left in this chamber that the preponderance of discussion or opinion was on the side of industry and biofuels.

Senator Dallaire has raised a point that was passionately presented to us by witness after witness. We had excellent presentations from a range of people involved in the production of ethanol and biodiesel. Refiners were there. People from Oxfam were there; and people were there representing the voices of the poor around the world.

We have what is a competition between a hierarchy of values. We all value helping the poor. We all value reducing greenhouse gases. We all value helping farmers. It is grain farmers when we say ``farmers,'' by the way. In Alberta, we want to ensure our livestock industry is healthy. When grain prices go up, their profits go down and vice versa.

You begin to see the multiple strands of considerations involved in putting together what seems, at first blush, a simple, straightforward and commendable activity, which is to introduce renewable fuel standards.

Faced with this dilemma of how to move things forward on a practical level, the committee agreed to recommend the bill to the Senate but to attach these observations. I wish to bring to your attention the very last paragraph of the observations, which says the following:

Your Committee also notes its intention to examine, at its first opportunity, the development of the regulatory process and the proposed regulations; and will on an ongoing basis, examine the efficacy derived from the application of those regulations.

We felt there was an opportunity and we would hope, indeed, that other senators would agree with us — of course, the committee only proceeds with a reference from all of you — we would hope that we can, as senators, facilitate a continuation of the public debate. There is no question that our knowledge about biofuels, the crops that feed the biofuels and the various consequences are multivariate. We are learning more every month, if not every day, about the consequences, the implications and how it all fits together.

We thought we would bring this to you, honourable senators, in the fall, and you would support our desire to facilitate a continued public debate on how best to move this policy forward so we can respond and satisfy all of our competing desires, one of which would be to help poor and starving people in other parts of the world.

Senator Dallaire: May I ask a question of the honourable senator?

When peacekeeping was invented, it was invented by nations who had the capability to do it because the UN had no peacekeeping capability. In fact, there were only five or six people in the office at the time in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and right into the 1990s. Peacekeeping duties were performed by countries that had resources and armies and who could move them, sustain them in the field, and provide them the ammunition, salaries and so on. There were only 13 or 14 nations that could perform peacekeeping during the Cold War. Then, we shifted away from peacekeeping, abdicated it when there were more demands and shifted it to other countries because we felt we had other interests.

We find ourselves with several countries that have absolutely no capability, competency, equipment or money to pay for their troops. They cannot even get them there, yet they are getting the mandates from the rich countries to do these missions, and they are totally and completely ineffective. We have the examples of Congo and Darfur, and I could add many more.

I take the position that this solution is a rich man's solution. We can choose to do it; however, in the same breath, I see no significant movement by this leading middle power to move to reduce international development. For example, it is like moving money that we might save from one side to international development to assist nations that are starving, and the millions upon millions who are internally displaced in camps and refugee camps. They are there mostly because we are not sending the troops to prevent those catastrophes, we do not want to send troops to stop the catastrophes and we do not want to send decent food to those starving nations so the people can eat and survive.

Do you not think this bill is a haughty and pretentious bill on our part, we who have our stomachs full, to shift this stuff to ensure that our gas and trucks will be moving, instead of moving something in parallel to alleviate the suffering that is out there, or at least give us a sign that we will move something?

Senator McCoy: I acknowledge the honourable senator's superior experience in the field. Let me tell you one little story that we heard from a person who is working in the development field and who described one very appropriate use of biofuel technology.

It comes from Africa. It is a small village, and people there go out and gather castor oil beans. Children go out at recess, if they are lucky enough to be in school, and they bring them home and crush those castor oil beans, which becomes a biofuel. They use that to light their lamps at night so that they can study. That is a biofuel solution. It was brought to us by way of saying, ``You know, this is not all bad.'' It is the nuanced understanding, the scale and the way that we apply it that makes the difference between success and failure.

There are criticisms that are valid, and that is what we wish to sort through. How do we, as Canadians, do the best that we can, satisfying all of our competing objectives and values?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs: I want to put a few comments on the debate this evening.

I share many of your concerns, Senator Dallaire, and I think most of us do. We must find a balance between using crops to feed people and using crops to fuel automobiles. I think we all find using food crops for fuel to be somewhat offensive.

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I am afraid that if we do not move forward on biofuel technology from using crops, such as sugar and corn, to using derivatives from crops, such as cellulose fibre, we will never develop other types of biofuels. That is why, with some reluctance, I will support this legislation tonight.

However, I want to put something on the record with respect to process. Honourable senators, people spoke about observations. I did not receive a copy of the observations, and I was told that they were distributed on an on-request basis. We are moving forward tonight on a bill that should not be given third reading tonight, but we have given permission for it to do so. Therefore, I am at a loss to understand why every senator in the chamber tonight does not have on his or her desk a copy of the observations, which the chair of the committee clearly told us were attached to these reports. That is just a comment, honourable senators. Sometimes we move a little too fast. It is time to ensure that processes are followed. Every senator here tonight should have automatically, rather than upon request, been given copies of the observations. I know there is another bill to which there are observations attached, and I respectfully request that those be distributed to every senator.

Senator Comeau: Question!

The Hon. the Speaker: Are honourable senators ready for the question?

Some Hon. Senators: Question!

The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

An Hon. Senator: On division.

Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed, on division.

[Translation]

Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement Bill

Third Reading

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government) moved third reading of Bill C-34, An Act to give effect to the Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

He said: Honourable senators, today I rise at third reading of Bill C-34, An Act to give effect to the Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

This bill is a modern treaty, and it is an important milestone, not only for British Columbia but for the entire country. This is an example of what can be accomplished when parties share a desire to negotiate in good faith and resolve the issues before them.

I wish to thank Chief Kim Baird of the Tsawwassen First Nation. Chief Baird is an extraordinary young person whose leadership and passion for her people have earned her the respect of all parties to the negotiation process.

I also wish to thank Premier Gordon Campbell and the Government of British Columbia, particularly Mike de Jong, Minister of Aboriginal Relations, and Steven Point, former Chief Commissioner of the British Columbia Treaty Commission and the province's current Lieutenant-Governor. Negotiators representing all three parties have worked very hard over the past few years, and their relentless effort have efforts have enabled us to reach this agreement.

Finally, I wish to thank the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples for working to return the bill to the Senate as quickly as possible.

Honourable senators, Bill C-34 has received broad support because it achieves several objectives: it clarifies the Tsawwassen First Nation's rights with respect to ownership and management of its lands and resources; it includes a cash settlement to provide a financial base with which the Tsawwassen First Nation can build a strong economy; and it gives the First Nation the tools it needs for self-government and self-reliance, including a constitution providing for democratic government that is accountable to the people it serves.

The long-term promise of Bill C-34 is that the children and youth of the Tsawwassen First Nation will grow up in a community where there are jobs and it is possible to be self- sufficient.

They will no longer need to leave their community to look for work because jobs will be available on the Tsawwassen land where they live. They will be proud, confident and enjoy all the other benefits that go hand in hand with good jobs, increased productivity and healthy communities.

Bill C-34 is a big step in the right direction. I encourage all honourable senators to support this legislation, which marks an important milestone in the history of the Tsawwassen people and all of Canada.

[English]

Hon. Larry W. Campbell: Honourable senators, I am pleased to support Bill C-34, An Act to give effect to the Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement and to make consequential amendments to other acts.

This is truly a historic event. The settlement of long-standing treaty issues is a vital cornerstone in providing recognition to our Aboriginal communities across Canada. I believe that this, being the first urban treaty in Canada, will be a landmark for other treaties that are in place, not only in British Columbia but across our great country.

I sincerely thank the committee for its non-partisan study of the legislation and its commitment to ensuring that future generations are provided with opportunities that are desperately needed to improve their lives.

I also thank Chief Kim Baird and her councillors who have worked tirelessly to engage and negotiate with provincial and federal partners to secure this landmark agreement. This process has taken 14 years from start to finish. Kim Baird is the last of the chiefs at this time to have been involved with it. In my association with Chief Baird over the last few years I have seen commitment and dedication that is truly remarkable. She has guided this bill through the shoals and rocks that are always encountered when negotiations are as complicated and in-depth as this was.

Honourable senators, governments of all stripes have taken too long to settle these treaties. There is no doubt that Bill C-34 is only the beginning. I am personally dedicated to seeing the Tsawwassen First Nation succeed in its endeavour and for this settlement to be a model for future agreements. We are all better off because of the actions taken today.

Honourable senators, I am humbled to have taken part in this process. I thank everyone for their hard work, and I urge honourable senators to vote for this bill.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Are honourable senators ready for the question?

Hon. Senators: Question!

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed.

[Translation]

Federal Sustainable Development Bill

Third Reading

Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin moved the third reading of Bill C-474, An Act to require the development and implementation of a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and the development of goals and targets with respect to sustainable development in Canada, and to make consequential amendments to another Act.

[English]

He said: Honourable senators, the bill before us seems to be a private member's bill from the other place. It is not. That which is before us is the bill as adopted by the House of Commons. This is the result of a compromise. As many compromises, it is not perfect and your committee was faced with a dilemma: Should the committee adopt a bill, which it had requested of the government for many years, to develop, implement and maintain a federal sustainable development strategy? It took a private member's bill to put such a strategy in place.

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We were then faced with a dilemma. Now that all the stars are aligned, perhaps we should pass an imperfect bill and amend it later, or perhaps we should amend the bill and wait for the fall to hear the comments of our colleagues in the other place. Guess what we did. We decided to adopt the imperfect bill and later on this year we will make it perfect in an amending bill.

I urge honourable senators to adopt Bill C-474.

Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, I wish to join my colleagues from the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources in expressing my congratulations to the committee in the way it has worked and my gratitude to all sides of this house for support of this bill.

I second the comments of the Honourable Senator Nolin, but go one step further to say that he has been humble about how this matter was approached. We were able to break through the concern of members of the committee because of his insight and initiative and I thank him.

I also thank the Honourable Senator Banks, Chair of the Energy Committee, who also provided great leadership. This bill is proof positive of what can be done for the environment when there is good will on all sides and an effort made to work together and collaborate. It is a classic case of collaboration on something positive for the environment in the House of Commons that was carried over to this place.

Bill C-474 will allow for the development of an overarching and sustainable development strategy for the government. It will, in turn, allow for and require that departments harness all of their resources, their power and initiative to focus on that overriding strategy. A management structure will be set up at the highest level to effectively implement and provide for outside advice from advisory bodies to respond to and reflect the needs and the concerns of people in the broader community.

Therefore, I concede that the bill is only all good. I stand with Senator Nolin and the other members of the committee and all honourable senators in support of this bill.

Hon. Tommy Banks: Honourable senators, in respect of what Senator Carstairs said earlier, I commend your attention to an observation that is attached to this bill to which Senator Nolin made reference. I believe all senators now have a copy.

The last observation has to do with an amendment that we will propose in the fall, in order to ensure that when the Commissioner of the Environment reports on sustainable development matters he or she will be able to do so ``at the earliest possible time'' rather than as much as a year later. However, the most important amendment we will make in the fall is the one that was called to our attention by Senator Nolin. He caught it and brought the matter to our attention with alacrity. I did not catch it because I had seen previous iterations of this bill.

This is a remarkable bill, as Senator Nolin has said, because it is a private member's bill having to do with the ecology, which was passed with all-party support and unanimously in the other place. That was a remarkable thing. Certain compromises were made in order to bring that about, but when it came to us it came with the unanimous approval of the House of Commons.

I call the attention of honourable senators specifically to the sixth paragraph of the observations, of which I am the author, as it has been brought to my attention by Senator Day that I was unclear. The second sentence of that paragraph should read: ``No proposed legislation of this order originating in the Senate would ever leave the Senate of Canada without provisions for the provisions of the other place.''

I know that we would never do that. We would never have the temerity to do such a thing, to forget or purposely omit, whichever was the case, consideration in respect of these kinds of matters by the other place. We would not do that because we understand what Parliament means, but there are people in the other place who apparently do not. Therefore, as Senator Nolin has pointed out, in all the approvals along the way of the efficacy of the sustainable development strategies proposed in this bill — which are now, thank goodness, being brought into place and will today, I hope, with your support — the Senate has been omitted. It was omitted because it was one of the compromises that obtained unanimous consent in the other place.

Honourable senators, I mention this because I want you to understand that the Honourable John Godfrey, the author of this bill, who is leaving Parliament, resigning his seat in a few weeks, included in his original draft of the bill and in subsequent iterations of it the words ``Parliament'' in every instance, or ``both Houses of Parliament'' in every instance. The committee in the other place removed those references and substituted the words ``House of Commons'' in each case.

That is unacceptable, honourable senators, in any other circumstance than the one which we face, which is to get this bill into place so that the process can begin, and frankly, in order that Mr. Godfrey can see it done when he leaves Parliament. If there were any other circumstances — and I know that Senator Nolin would agree with me — we would not have passed this bill. We would be introducing amendments to this bill here and now, but we must not let this thing go by.

Honourable senators, on four previous occasions having to do with environmental legislation this happened. On each of those four occasions I have gone to the other place and I spoke to the sponsors or the authors of the bill, and the legislative drafters and the chairs of the respective committees and said, ``Don't do that.'' Twice we were able to head it off at the pass and the legislation was fixed before it got to us; twice it did not. This is another time.

Honourable senators, we must be vigilant because there are people who are trying to have Parliament reduced to two thirds its size. Senator Nolin, thank goodness, caught this omission before we went any further. I commend the matter to your attention. I invoke and I plead for your support in the fall, when we make a bill of amendment to fix this legislation, so that we will have unanimous support in this place to do so.

Hon. Elaine McCoy: Honourable senators, I rise, in particular, to say that the Honourable John Godfrey, the sponsor and originator of the original bill, is much to be commended. The fact that he is resigning his seat in the House of Commons was the consideration that caused us, for technical reasons, to support this bill because it would otherwise die.

Mr. Godfrey made a superhuman effort to bring the bill as far forward as he could, considering the compromises to which Senator Banks has referred, some of which were shared with us.

As Senator Banks said, ``Don't let perfection get in the way of progress.'' We accept that. Voltaire would say, ``Don't let the better get in the way of the good.''

Honourable senators, this is a good bill and I too would urge support for the amendment that the committee, or, I suppose, Senator Banks, will introduce in the fall. Also, I would never want to miss an opportunity to advertise the bill I introduced earlier today, which is actually intended to separate the Office of the Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development from the Auditor General so that they will both be officers of Parliament. I assure you, honourable senators, that in the proposed bill I have put forward, the commissioner will report to both Houses of Parliament. That item was also strongly supported by Mr. Godfrey in his original bill but was another casualty to progress. We are picking up that aspect of his vision as well.

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The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is there further debate? Are honourable senators ready for the question?

Hon. Senators: Question!

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, is it your pleasure to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed.

Canada Elections Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

Hon. Donald H. Oliver moved second reading of Bill C-29, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (accountability with respect to loans).

He said: Honourable senators, I am pleased to have this opportunity to participate in debate on second reading of Bill C- 29, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act. This bill will amend the Canada Elections Act to strengthen accountability and enhance transparency in the use of political loans and will ensure that Canadians can put their full trust in this important component of our political financing regime.

Loans to political entities are an important and legitimate component of our political financing regime. I want to make that clear at the outset. However, the current loans regime is critically flawed in two key areas that, if left unaddressed, will threaten the integrity of our political financing process. It is not sufficiently transparent when Canadians need and deserve to know who is lending, how much money, to which party or politician, and under what conditions; and it does not ensure that loans can be used as disguised contributions, when Canadians must have full faith that the legal contribution limits cannot be circumvented and that the political process cannot be influenced by the wealthy few.

Canadians and stakeholders who make it their business to understand political financing rules see these flaws and know that the current political loans regime is broken.

Honourable senators, the Chief Electoral Officer has identified the same flaws. In January 2007, the then CEO presented recommendations on how to improve the loans regime to a House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

Allow me to cite Mr. Kingsley's report. After considering the rules on loans he concluded by saying that loans:

granted by lenders — who are not in the business of lending, who lend money at non-commercial rates with terms that are not available to others, or in cases where there is little prospect of reimbursement — may be perceived as a means to influence the political entity to which the funds are provided.

The former CEO therefore recommended that Parliament: first, impose additional controls on loans; second, make loans more transparent; and third, establish consistency in the treatment of loans for all classes of political entities.

Honourable senators, this bill will implement these recommendations because this government has made restoring trust and accountability in our political financing regime among its highest priorities. The political financing reforms that we achieved when Bill C-2, the Federal Accountability Act, was passed in December of 2006 are enabling Canadians to once again put their trust in the political process.

Let me remind you of how this was done. First, the reforms set out in Bill C-2 eliminated the strongly held perception that only the wealthy few can influence our political system. The bill did this by banning corporate and union donations and by eliminating the use of secret trusts and large personal gifts that could be used to finance political activities.

Second, it ensured that the political financing regime was used to promote the democratic process by ensuring that political parties and politicians must turn to ordinary Canadians to finance their activities. It did this by allowing only individuals to contribute to political parties and by limiting political contributions to a maximum of $1,100 per year.

Third, and perhaps most important, it ensured the political financing regime is fully transparent with straightforward rules that are easy to enforce.

As a result, Canadians can now be assured that they will receive the information they need to judge whether political parties and politicians are playing by the rules. They are equally assured that those who do not will be held to account.

Honourable senators, Canadians want nothing less than a guarantee that political activities in this country are financed in a way that is fair, transparent and accountable, and that puts their interests ahead of wealthy companies or individuals. Bill C-2 has given them confidence that our political contributions regime will reflect those fundamental values that we hold so dearly, but the existing loans regime does not reflect these values at all.

We should also be clear in what is at stake, honourable senators. If we do not move more quickly to address the obvious and critical flaws in the political loans regime, the trust of Canadians in our political system that is being rebuilt as a result of the Federal Accountability Act will be lost.

With this in mind, honourable senators, I turn briefly to an overview of the bill, which I think can be broken down into three key themes. When we developed the amendments, these three themes were central to ensuring that the loans regime would support and preserve what was achieved in the Federal Accountability Act. They are: first, ensuring consistency and transparency in loans; second, eliminating the influence of wealthy lenders; and third, ensuring a level playing field for legitimate lending and borrowing.

The first theme of the bill is ensuring consistency and transparency. Meaningful accountability requires complete, reliable and timely disclosure of information. That is what now must be put in place for loans.

The disclosure rules for loans does not ensure full and timely transparency for borrowing. The rules have not been updated to match changes in the broader legal framework for political financing or to match the much higher expectations of Canadians. In fact, the rules for candidates predated the adoption of the new Canada Elections Act of 2000.

The effect of these outdated provisions is that Canadians cannot always see for themselves who are the borrowers and lenders in a political campaign, how much money has been borrowed and what are its terms. The regime does not serve the goal of equipping Canadians with the information they need to judge for themselves if politicians are playing by the rules, and it makes enforcement difficult.

The type and completeness of information that should be disclosed is inconsistent. Moreover, different classes of borrowers are subject to different standards of transparency. Parties, candidates, nomination contestants do not even need to provide full disclosure of all loans, their terms and the identity of the lenders.

The accountability with respect to loans bill will correct this situation by establishing a uniform requirement for complete disclosure of all loans for all political entities. For example, for all loans, the identity and address of the lender and guarantor and the interest rate would have to be disclosed. This information would be reported to Elections Canada and would be published. Citizens would see for themselves who is lending and borrowing money in the political process.

The second major theme in these amendments is eliminating the influence of wealthy lenders. The influence of wealthy donors was eliminated in the Federal Accountability Act by reducing the contribution limits for individuals and prohibiting unions and corporations from making contributions at all, but a loophole also allows individuals, unions and corporations to circumvent the rules.

Here is how it can be done. When a political entity borrows money but does not pay it back, either because it defaults on repayment or because the lender does not require repayment, that borrowed money is not truly a loan; it is a disguised contribution. If the money was borrowed from individuals, the disguised contribution can permit the individual to contribute over and above the $1,100 contribution limit. If the money was borrowed from a union or corporation, the disguised contribution means the prohibition on union and corporation donations is circumvented. Unions and corporations must not be allowed to do indirectly through loans what they cannot do directly through contributions.

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Either way, disguised contributions allow wealthy interests to retain a degree of influence beyond that of ordinary Canadians, a situation that we know all too well is open to abuse. If allowed to continue unchecked, it will rekindle the harmful suspicion that the wealthy few can influence political activity.

The accountability with respect to loans bill will create two new straightforward rules that are easy to enforce. First, it prohibits unions and corporations from lending money or making loan guarantees, just as they are unable to make contributions under the Federal Accountability Act. That rule will close the loophole that allows them to make contributions that can be disguised loans. This step also ensures that politicians turn first to ordinary Canadians to finance their activities.

Second, loans from individuals will be subject to the annual contribution limit for individuals established in the Federal Accountability Act. As such, an individual's total loans, loan guarantees and contributions together cannot exceed the $1,100 limit.

These changes will bring loans in line with the stronger rules for contributions, stop disguised contributions and allow Canadians to have faith that the process is not influenced by the wealthy few.

The third major theme in these amendments is ensuring a level playing field for legitimate borrowing and lending. As I said at the beginning, loans in politics are legitimate only if they are made on fair and transparent terms, without the expectation of influence by either the borrower or the lender, and if they follow normal business practices.

There can be no certainty that the playing field is level and that normal business practices apply when loans are made in the shadows from non-commercial lenders or where candidates can walk away from loans with impunity.

The accountability with respect to loans bill will make changes that further level the playing field in the interests both of fairness and accountability.

The rules will be changed to ensure that candidates could no longer walk away from unpaid loans. Electoral district associations will be made responsible for unpaid loans taken out by their candidates in an electoral campaign. This step will ensure that the riding association is held accountable if party- endorsed candidates try to avoid repaying money borrowed to finance a campaign.

The amendments will also restrict the source of loans. Only financial institutions will be able to make loans beyond the $1,100 limit in place for individuals. In short, making loans will be restricted to those who are truly in the business of lending money. There will be no more loans from family trusts or the firms of the well-connected.

To ensure that lending by financial institutions is above-board and on a level playing field for everyone, loans from financial institutions can be only at commercial rates of interest. Banks or any other lending institutions cannot charge interest either above or below the market norm and, thereby, neither favour nor penalize political views.

These loans will also be subject to full disclosure. The borrower must disclose the amount, the identity of the lender and the rate of interest. Canadians will then be able to see for themselves who is lending to whom and to judge if borrowing is on a legitimately level playing field. This transparency also ensures that neither borrowers nor lenders are able to trade advantageous terms in exchange for influence.

Finally, to ensure that lending is not concentrated unnecessarily in the hands of big banks, eligible lenders will be all financial institutions as defined by the Bank Act. That broad class includes small, local lenders, such as trust companies, credit unions, caisses populaires and cooperatives, which are important institutions in the communities they serve.

In conclusion, honourable senators, Canadians support what this government has done to return transparency, trust and accountability to the political financing regime.

I believe that the changes I have mentioned will ensure that Canadians can put their full trust in the integrity of political financing in Canada, and will fight any lingering perception that the wealthy can still buy influence and that rules can be skirted easily if one has enough money.

It is time to close off any possibility of circumventing accountability measures by using loans to disguise contributions. It is time to ensure full transparency on loans. It is time to fix the broken loans rules. Indeed, I believe Canadians expect and deserve nothing less from us in this place.

I call upon all colleagues to support these important measures and send this legislation to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is there continuing debate?

On motion of Senator Tardif, debate adjourned.

Constitution Act, 1867

Bill to Amend—Second Reading— Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Banks, seconded by the Honourable Senator Day, for the second reading of Bill S-229, An Act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867 (Property qualifications of Senators).—(Honourable Senator Fraser)

Hon. Joan Fraser: Honourable senators, as is so often the case here, I find that it is necessary to begin this speech by congratulating Senator Banks, who has the habit of focusing our attention on matters that it would be much easier simply to ignore and get around to another day. He does not believe in that approach. He believes in facing up to things, and for that I congratulate him.

The particular object of this bill is, as the preamble to the bill says, a requirement in our Constitution that is ``inconsistent with the democratic values of our modern Canadian society. . . .'' I think that is a gentle and diplomatic way of describing the property qualifications we are all required to meet. Property qualifications are, surely in the year 2008, an institutional, indeed a national, embarrassment. We should not be required to have any amount of property qualification. The fact that it is only $4,000 is, in a way, fortunate. It enables us to treat it as a bit of a joke. That is what I try to do when I give speeches about the Senate. Nonetheless, it is there. It should not be there. It absolutely should not be there.

Senator Banks has presented a bill to attack the problem, which will eliminate the property qualifications by deleting subsections 3 and 4 of section 23 of the Constitution Act, 1867. That solution sounds absolutely great, but any time we touch the Constitution, particularly involving the Senate, we find ourselves with a classic example of a Gordian knot, or what a former colleague of mine called a plate of cold spaghetti. When we try and scoop it up, we find more strands coming out and we cannot fit it all on the fork.

I believe it was Alexander the Great who cut the Gordian knot by simply hacking through it with his sword. Arguably, that is what Senator Banks attempts to do with this bill: cut through it and eliminate it. I do not think it is that simple.

The interesting thing about this bill is that although it will delete the general property qualification, it leaves untouched section 22(2) and section 23(6) of what we used to call the BNA Act, which are the famous, to us in Quebec, sections that set up senatorial districts in Quebec, and residency and property requirements in relation to those districts.

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What they say is that each Quebec senator must represent a specific geographical district of Quebec and that each senator must either have her property qualification in the district she represents or reside there.

Therefore, it seems rather odd to be eliminating the property qualifications in general, which this bill would do, without attacking the immediate problem of the fact that the Quebec senatorial district rules include a reference to residency or property qualifications. It is a conundrum. The plate of cold spaghetti is getting piled higher.

The Honourable Senator Banks, who is fully aware of this difficulty, has tackled the issue with a separate parliamentary effort, which is his Motion No. 88 that appears on page 8 of today's Order Paper. This motion would get rid of the Quebec districts and the residency and property rule.

I do not know if the bill, in its own right, is valid without addressing the Quebec problem because the Quebec problem ties residency and property qualifications together. While the measure may be in order, I am not quite sure that it would be. I should like to hear some learned constitutional argument in that regard.

However, if that will not work, let us look at the motion. If that will work and we can pass companion efforts here, that is, one bill and one motion to amend the Constitution, let us look at the motion. Senator Banks' motion would delete the rule that says Quebec senators must have their property qualification or live in one of those senatorial districts.

However, more spaghetti is piling on here. The Constitution Act, 1982, in section 42(1)(c) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, says that residency qualifications of the senators can be amended only by the famous 7/50 formula of the Constitution, requiring seven provinces with 50 per cent of the population. It is my understanding that Senator Banks was envisaging that his motion would be approved by the Government of Quebec as well as by Parliament without opening up the whole nightmarish scenario of 7/50 negotiations, which can drag on forever and a day.

It is true that section 43 of the Charter allows bilateral amendments by Parliament and the province that would be affected. One would have hoped, maybe, that we could solve the Quebec problem by proceeding in that way. However, section 42 specifically refers to residency qualifications, which applies to the Quebec case.

Therefore, it will be exceedingly important to have very good constitutional advice on this. If we were to rush ahead with part or all of this package without understanding the further consequences of what we were doing, we might find ourselves in difficult territory.

For example, at the very least, the bill — I do not think it does contain such a thing and correct me if I am wrong, Senator Banks — ought to include a grandfather clause for Quebec senators. As Senator Banks observed, it is the case that many Quebec senators do not live in their districts, but have property there.

If we abolish the property qualification and we do not live in our districts, I think we could suddenly lose our seats. I do not know about Senator Banks, but I really like working here. I would not like to place my seat in peril.

We also need to look at the original motivation for these two provisions in the Constitution. In both cases, that original motivation may have faded somewhat, but the principle remains important in at least one case.

It is not totally clear, by my reading, that the original property qualification was designed to ensure that the rich would be represented in Parliament. That is, however, a pretty plausible explanation for why they did it. The Senate was being modelled on the House of Lords. The House of Lords represented very wealthy landed aristocrats and so would the Senate. We may not be aristocrats, but we would be wealthy and landed. One hundred and forty years later, $4,000 does not represent great wealth anymore, which is a good thing, too. I am not particularly concerned about that motivation, as one may understand it to have been, of the Fathers of Confederation.

However, in the Quebec case, the motivation remains much more pertinent to any changes we may make today.

[Translation]

The fact is that the francophone majority in Quebec constitutes a minority within the country, and within that minority is another minority: the anglophone minority in Quebec. Naturally, at the time when the union, the creation of our country, was contemplated, anglophones and francophones in Quebec had concerns.

Given that senators are appointed by the Prime Minister and that the Prime Minister is, more often than not, elected by the anglophone majority of the country, we can understand why Quebec francophones could have been worried about a situation in which Quebec senators would be appointed by someone who does not understand and does not care about the future of French in Canada.

Similarly, Quebec anglophones also worried about being forgotten in the process of establishing the upper house of the federal Parliament. The solution was to create senatorial districts.

[English]

At the time, the idea was that a prime minister would hesitate to name someone to represent a specific district who did not have a great deal in common with the majority of the people in that district. That is a normal and good democratic approach. I think it was probably a good approach at that time to squaring the circle as to how we would give justice to everyone in Quebec.

In that, with the linguistic and educational provisions of the Constitution Act, 1867, you have the foundations of this chamber's role as a guardian of minority rights. That role remains as important as it ever was and, perhaps, more important than it was believed to be in 1867.

If we get rid of the existing property and residence requirements in Quebec, which I agree are archaic and no longer reflect reality, we also need to address the question of how we will continue to uphold that principle of representation of minorities. The specific mechanism may have only a tenuous relation to that principle now. However, it is important to remember that one of the things we do here, and must never forget that we do here, is that we always stand for minorities.

I do not have any instant solutions to this conundrum. I believe Senator Banks called the property qualifications ``antediluvian'' at one point and he was right; they are. Before we rush down the road of adopting either this bill or this motion — and they are an indissolubly linked package — I believe we need to know a great deal more about the implications and the likely intended and unintended consequences of them.

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I thank Senator Banks for forcing us to think about these things. With so many other things we need to do, we could have gone on for some time without thinking about them. He is making us think about them. However, I suggest, honourable senators, that the task will not be quickly or easily accomplished.

On motion of Senator Tardif, debate adjourned.

National Security and Defence

Budget—Study on Veterans' Services and Benefits, Commemorative Activities and Charter—Report of Committee Adopted

Leave having been given to revert to Other Business, Reports of Committees, Item No. 6:

The Senate proceeded to consideration of the eighth report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (budget—study on veterans affairs), presented in the Senate on June 10, 2008.—(Honourable Senator Meighen)

Hon. Michael A. Meighen moved the adoption of the report.

Motion agreed to and report adopted.

[Translation]

Question of Privilege

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, on June 18, 2008, I attended a meeting of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence during which a pamphlet about a conference was distributed to all members for review. The committee's copy of the pamphlet, however, was written in only one of Canada's two official languages. I formally asked for a copy of the document in the other official language for consultation. However, my request was not met. The chair asked the members to return the document to him, but the subject of the document had to be considered.

I suggest that honourable senators read the transcript of the committee meeting for further details. They will then see that my request was unequivocal. I very clearly indicated that I should have the opportunity to review the document in the other official language. My request was not taken into account. The committee continued to discuss the conference referred to in the pamphlet. I therefore left the meeting. I do not wish to attend a meeting that does not respect the rules governing both of Canada's official languages and their equal status. The committee continued its debate on the conference and reached a conclusion.

Honourable senators, I refer you to another question of privilege first raised on May 28, 2008, currently under review by the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament. At that time, I spoke at length about a number of documents that compel the Senate to respect both official languages of Canada as well as the equality of French and English.

[English]

Honourable senators, paragraph 32(1)(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms stipulates:

This Charter applies

a) to the Parliament and government of Canada in respect of all matters within the authority of Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories. . . .

Subsection 16(1) states:

English and French are the official languages of Canada and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and government of Canada.

Subsection 17(1) states:

Everyone has the right to use English or French in any debates and other proceedings of Parliament.

Finally, subsection 18(1) states:

The statutes, records and journals of Parliament shall be printed and published in English and French and both language versions are equally authoritative.

In other words, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms confers upon all honourable senators the right of parliamentary privilege in order to fulfill their duties as senators in Parliament in either of the two official languages.

Sections 4 and 5 of the Official Languages Act also enshrine the privilege. Section 5, in particular, does so, stating:

The journals and other records of Parliament shall be made and kept, and shall be printed and published, in both official languages.

I will also quote rule 43(1) of the Rules of the Senate which states:

The preservation of the privileges of the Senate is the duty of every Senator. A violation of the privileges of any one Senator affects those of all Senators and the ability of the Senate to carry out its functions outlined in the Constitution Act, 1867.

Furthermore, section 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867, states:

Either the English or the French Language may be used by any Person in the Debates of the Houses of the Parliament of Canada and of the Houses of the Legislature of Quebec; and both those Languages shall be used in the respective Records and Journals of those Houses. . . .

[Translation]

I refer honourable senators to the red binder in their desks for more information. I raised this matter on May 18, 2008.

(1800)

The alleged violation I am talking about is the fact that the committee examined a document regarding a conference, which was distributed to the committee members in only one of Canada's two official languages. This incident is similar to what happened on May 28, 2008, when the committee examined and adopted a report in one official language only.

My request was a reasonable one. In fact, two days earlier, Senator Kenny had said the following during a meeting of the Rules Committee:

[English]

I shall also say that the way the committee functions, having a virtually completely anglophone working group, it is their preference to have an English text. If a text was asked for, we would provide it. If there was not a French text available, we would stop the meeting. We have done that. When a French text was not available and someone asked for one, that was it. There was no debate or discussion; the meeting ended.

[Translation]

That is not what happened on June 18. Honourable senators, in the end, either both official languages are equal, or they are not. Either both official languages are respected, or they are not. This is not up for debate. The Senate is subject to language laws and the Constitution. That is not up for debate either.

It is as simple as that. My request is just as legitimate as if a unilingual anglophone member of a committee requested an English version of a French brochure received and examined by an almost exclusively francophone committee. I respectfully submit, honourable senators, that no committee chair has the authority to set aside the Official Languages Act, the equal status of our two official languages as set out in our Constitution, or the Senate's rules concerning language. There is no leaway or discretion to put one official language before the other.

In closing, I would like to review the facts. The Chair of the Committee on National Security and Defence distributed for review a document that was available in only one of Canada's official languages. I formally requested a copy of the document in the other official language. My request was not honoured.

The chair continued with the discussion of the subject of the document that was distributed in only one language. The chair presided over the committee's deliberations and held a vote on the subject of the document. The chair breached my privileges as a member of the Parliament of Canada. In so doing, he breached the privileges of all current and future senators.

The Hon. the Speaker: Would other honourable senators wish to comment on this issue?

[English]

Honourable senators, I am ready to deal with this matter forthwith. This question of privilege is very similar to one which Senator Comeau gave notice of May 28, 2008. After that question of privilege was considered on May 29, it was determined that there was a prima facie case of privilege and the matter was referred to the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament.

The current matter is distinct and must be treated as such, based on the principle that each separate question of privilege must be addressed separately. The same reasoning that I gave at that time, however, applies to this case. But I wish to go a little further.

In some parliaments around the world, particularly the international fora known to many honourable senators, a determination must be made as to its lingua franca, the working language, but in the Parliament of Canada there is no single working language. There are two languages here, French and English. The practice, which occurs in some mainly international parliaments of identifying the lingua franca, is not followed here. It is clear in Canada that Parliament uses both English and French equally.

One of the reasons one might advance to underscore the importance of this principle, if I may be permitted to recall certain medieval writings, is that none of us is able to deal with things that we cannot grasp through our senses. Language provides us with either a visual presentation or an oral presentation, and the principle is, as expressed in Latin — Nihil est in intellectu quod non prius in sensu — nothing is in the intellect which is not first in the senses.

Therefore, senators working in committee or elsewhere must have the documents to deal with the issue that is before Parliament or committee in both official languages. That is axiomatic. It is not discretionary, it is mandatory.

For these additional reasons, and the reasons given before, it is the ruling of the chair that a prima facie case of privilege has been made out by Senator Comeau. He is now, as he has indicated he would in his notice, prepared to make a motion.

Senator Comeau: Before moving my motion, I would ask leave of the Senate to suspend rule 43(8). This is a rule which provides that if consideration of the motion is concluded today, the Senate would have to automatically adjourn.

Let me start this up again. It provides that if consideration of the motion is concluded today, the Senate would have to automatically adjourn, which would mean that we would be sitting at 9 a.m. tomorrow — that is, if leave is denied.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, Senator Comeau is reminding us of rule 43(8), that the last thing we would do when a question of privilege has been made out is to do nothing until that matter has been disposed of, so the Senate would automatically have to adjourn.

That helps to underscore the importance of privilege — that if there is a problem and the privilege has been interfered with, then all the work of Parliament is interfered with. That is the reasoning that might underlie that rule.

Senator Comeau is asking for leave, honourable senators, to hold in abeyance rule 43(8).

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Referred to Committee

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, with that in mind, I move that the question of privilege now before the Senate be referred to the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament.

[Translation]

The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

On motion of Senator Comeau, question of privilege referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament.

(1810)

[English]

The Senate

Motion to Remind House of Commons of Right to Amend Money Bills Containing Substantive Nonfinancial Provisions—Debate Adjourned

Hon. Elaine McCoy, pursuant to notice of April 16, 2008, moved:

That a message be sent to the House of Commons to remind that House that, in recognition of the primacy of the Commons with respect to bills for appropriating the public revenue and implementing government budgets, this House has voluntarily refrained for many years from amending such money bills; and to inform that House that this House nonetheless insists on its right under the Constitution Act, 1867 to amend any money bill containing substantive non- financial provisions such as those amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act found in Bill C-50, the Budget Implementation Act, 2008.

She said: Honourable senators, prior to rising for the summer, let me leave you with a picture to carry over the summer as you begin to cogitate upon this important subject.

Imagine a vast expanse of green, a nice soft green, and over this green there are many, many people, all busily engaged about their business. There are people dressed in black dashing about with documents in their hands. There are people clustered, making deals. There is a man sitting in the middle with a long nose. He has cold blue eyes and a very dissatisfied expression on his face. He is the leader of the government of his day. Sitting around him are his closest advisers. He is a man who is not popular in the land. He is known as an able administrator, but a micromanager. He is a man who does like the defence file and likes waging wars but he is not successful and, therefore, he is forever asking for more money. He is there because he is insisting on his executive right to raise money. His people are objecting. They want to attach conditions to this money that they will grant him, if they do grant it to him.

I have not mentioned the name of this man. Let me do so before honourable senators leave for the summer. His name is John, sometimes known as John Lackland, John Plantagenet, King John. The day I am describing is June 15, 1215 — the day the Magna Carta was adopted. The greensward is Runnymede. It is that tradition to which I wish to speak when we return. In the meantime, I wish to adjourn the debate in my name for the remainder of my time.

On motion of Senator McCoy, debate adjourned.

[Translation]

Royal Assent

The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that the following communication had been received:

RIDEAU HALL

June 26, 2008

Mr. Speaker,

I have the honour to inform you that the Honourable Louis LeBel, Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, in his capacity as Deputy of the Governor General, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bills listed in the Schedule to this letter on the 26th day of June, 2008, at 5:56 p.m.

Yours sincerely,

Sheila-Marie Cook
Secretary to the Governor General

The Honourable The Speaker of the Senate Ottawa

Bills Assented to Thursday, June 26, 2008:

An Act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (Bill C-33, Chapter 31, 2008)

An Act to give effect to the Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (Bill C-34, Chapter 32, 2008)

An Act to require the development and implementation of a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and the development of goals and targets with respect to sustainable development in Canada, and to make consequential amendments to another Act (Bill C-474, Chapter 33, 2008)

[English]

Agriculture and Forestry

Motion to Authorize Committee to Deposit Report on Study of Rural Poverty with Clerk During Adjournment of the Senate Withdrawn

On Motion No. 111, by Honourable Senator Fairbairn:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry be permitted, notwithstanding usual practices, to deposit its final report on rural poverty in Canada by June 30, 2008, in accordance with the order of reference adopted by the Senate on November 20, 2007, with the Clerk of the Senate, if the Senate is then adjourned for a period exceeding one week; and that the report be deemed to have been tabled in the Chamber.

Hon. Joyce Fairbairn: Honourable senators, I withdraw the motion because the report entitled: Beyond Freefall: Halting Rural Poverty was tabled on June 16, 2008.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, is it agreed that the motion be withdrawn?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion withdrawn.

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Committee Authorized to Study National Defence Act Court Martial Provisions and Operation

Hon. Joan Fraser, pursuant to notice of June 18, 2008, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs be authorized to examine and report on the provisions and operation of An Act to amend the National Defence Act (court martial) and to make a consequential amendment to another Act (S.C. 2008, c. 29); and

That the committee submit its final report no later than December 31, 2008.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Motion agreed to.

[Translation]

Adjournment

Leave having been given to revert to Government Notices of Motions:

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(h), I move:

That when the Senate adjourns today, it do stand adjourned until Tuesday, September 16, 2008, at 2:00 p.m.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Comeau: Honourable senators, it is always a pleasure to have the final word, and I will not take too much of your time. I would like to extend my sincerest thanks and my best wishes to those who have helped to ensure the chamber's smooth operation during this sitting.

I would particularly like to thank the government caucus for its constant support, the Leader of the Opposition and my counterpart, Senator Tardif, for the important roles they play in our institution, the Clerk of the Senate and the table officers for their judicious advice, the Usher of the Black Rod and his team, the Mace Bearer and the pages who are always there when we need them, our reporters and interpreters who have a very demanding job, the security staff who greet us graciously day in and day out, as well as the maintenance staff who make every corner of this place shine, and everyone else working behind the scenes to help the Senate function so smoothly.

Once again, I offer my sincere thanks to each and every one of you. I wish you all the best for the summer.

That being said, I move that the Senate do now adjourn.

Motion agreed to.

The Senate adjourned until Tuesday, September 16, 2008, at 2 p.m.

Appendix

Heritage
Funding for Montreal Festivals—Budget 2008—Funding for Arts and Culture

(Response to questions raised by Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette on February 27, 2008)
(See p. 1675.)

Annex 1  

March 3, 2008  

Canadian Heritage and Portfolio Activities for the Promotion of Canadian Culture and Arts Abroad

Objectives Federal Partners Examples of Activities 2006-07 Level of Funding
1. Promote cultural and artistic excellence - Canada Council for the Arts

- National Film Board of Canada

- Provide travel and tour subsidies to promote the knowledge and appreciation of Canadian arts abroad and advance the careers of Canadian professional artists CCA: $12.5
MNFB: $2.6M
 

Total: $15.1M

2. Develop international markets for Canadian artists and cultural entrepreneurs - PCH (Trade Routes Program)

- Telefilm Canada

- Association for the Export of Canadian Books

- Factor/MusicAction

- Support access to international markets for Canadian cultural and arts entrepreneurs and organizations

- Contribute to cultural Canadian trade missions abroad

- Increase the export capacities of Canadian cultural and arts entrepreneurs and organizations

PCH/TR: $9
MTelefilm: $2.3
MAECB: $4.8M
Factor: $1.9M


 

Total: $18M

TOTAL PCH/Portfolio: $33.1 million   

Note:

1) 2007-8 actual financing levels are not currently available for all partners.

2) The 2008-2011 action plan of the Canada Council calls for an increase of $1,404,000 in the Canada Council for the Arts' budget for international dissemination.